October 12, 2017 / 7:18 AM / a year ago

Miners in China's Hebei told to shut some operations during party congress

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Hebei province has ordered two big coal producers to shut a total of 59 mines during a key Communist Party gathering in Beijing later this month, state-run China Coal News reported on Thursday.

Hebei surrounds Beijing, which is gearing up for the once-in-five-years 19th Party Congress that kicks off on Oct. 18, with China looking to avoid images of its notorious choking smog and show the capital in clear skies.

Kailuan Group will shut a total of 27 coal mines and Jinzhong Energy Group will close 32, China Coal News said, citing an internal document from Hebei’s work safety watchdog. The total capacity of these mines was not immediately clear.

“These mines being shut down are the older and smaller ones,” an executive from Jinzhong Energy told Reuters, adding that the temporary closures would not have much impact on supply ahead of the peak winter-demand season. He declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Kailuan Group did not respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Meng Meng and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Joseph Radford

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